Putin says he had to tell Trump 'several times' that Russia did not interfere in US election

It was the first formal summit between the leaders of the nuclear armed powers 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 16 July 2018 12:27 BST
Putin says he had to tell Trump several times that he did not interfere in US election

Vladimir Putin has said he repeated to Donald Trump “several times” that Russia did not interfere in US election.

Speaking to reporters after a their first formal bilateral summit, the Russian said had been obliged to stress the point to Mr Trump several times, suggesting the US leader had pressed him on the issue. He said the meeting marked the first steps to restore “an acceptable level of trust and go back to previous level of interaction on all mutual interest issues”.

“(Trump) touched upon the theme of Russia's so-called meddling (in the 2016 US election). I had to repeat what I've said before, that the Russian state has never interfered and has no intention to interfere.”

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He added: “We have offered to consider building the philosophy of bilateral relations for the long term. We have good talks, we started to understand each other better.”

Mr Trump confirmed that he had raised the issue of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

“We spent great deal of time talking about it. He feels strongly about the issue and has an interesting idea,” Mr Trump said.

The US community has said on a number of occasions, it believes Russia interfered in the election. In December 2016, Barack Obama expelled 35 US diplomats in retaliation.

“I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners,” Mr Obama said in a statement.

“Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations.

Asked whether he believed the conclusions of his intelligence community or the denials of Mr Putin, Mr Trump claimed there were “two sides” in the intelligence community.

“Dan Coats [the US Director of National Intelligence] said its Russia. President Putin says its not Russia,” he said.

“I don't know why it would be…..I have confidence in both parties. President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

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